18 November 2005

This is where I was yesterday

Frank TurkAs planned, Darlene and I had lunch Thursday with Frank Turk and three-fourths of his family. In deference to Mrs. Turk, who shuns all the fame and accolades that go with being Centuri0n's wife, I'm not going to mention any first names. But they have a daughter who is beautiful, intelligent, sophisticated, witty—and four years old. I want grandchildren like that. They also have a son who I am told is equally bright and athletic (he plays soccer), but he was stuck in school yesterday.

CheddarsLunch was at Cheddars Casual Cafe on 71st street—one of my favorite Tulsa places. We swapped home-school-mom tales (Frank has some good ones) and gossipped about the blogosphere. I'm not going to get specific here, but if you're a regular reader, commenter, or blogger and wondering if we talked about you, the answer is yes. We talked about you all. For a couple of hours.

Then we drove to Mardel, the Christian and Educational Supply store, which is just down the street from Cheddars. That was the highlight of the day. Frank is the perfect guy to walk through a massive warehouse-sized Christian retail store with. He's a Christian retailer himself, and he also works for a Christian publisher. I've been involved in various aspects of Christian publishing for 30 years. We could have spent the whole week at a place like Mardel and not run out of things to talk about.

We walked through the greeting-card aisle (an area where Frank's expertise is unsurpassed and I have asolutely no experience—not even as a customer, because Darlene does all the card-buying in our family). Frank gave me an education and a whole new appreciation for what's involved in writing, publishing, and marketing cards.

We groused about the tripe that fills the Wall o' Best-Sellers in Mardel's book section.

We watched a video of Emerging Church leader Rob Bell and analyzed his idiosyncratic delivery style.

We talked about the current state of affairs in Christian publishing, critiqued cover art and packaging concepts, sized up the latest Biblezine®, reminisced about our first impressions of Clarence Larkin's architectural-drawing approach to eschatology, traded anecdotes about James White, speculated about what Steve Hays looks like, confabulated some more about the rest of you, and played with the Christian Koosh balls.

QOtD from Frank's daughter: "How do you make them koosh?" She's absolutely adorable.




PS:

I'm not finished messing with my blogroll. I'm thinking of adding a couple more categories. I have to find something worse than "irritating" but just short of "loathsome" to accommodate a certain blog that is screaming for a category all its own. And without expanding my "stellar" category so much that it means nothing, I need to have a new category above "interesting" to place a few of my favorites that deserve special recognition. Give me a few days to get it like I want it before you try to draw any conclusions about what it all means.

Phil's signature

48 comments:

Steve said...

Phil said: "We groused about the tripe that fills the Wall o' Best-Sellers in Mardel's book section."

Groused? Is that all? And only the best sellers section?


P.S. Sounds like Frank has been blessed with a lovely family. Thanks for sharing about your day.

Father of Eleven said...

Mardel's always seemed a metaphor for the state of Christianity today. 50,000 sqft of store space and three shelves of theology, half of it bad.
Also one shelf for God the Father, one for God the Son, and an entire wall for the Holy Spirit. I am sure that is the emphasis the Bible puts on the three.
And where else could you get the Spirit Filled Left Handed Plumbers Study Bible? Oh, yeah, right past the figurines of Jesus playing various sports with little kids and Left Behind: The Kids series books.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Between "Interesting" and "Stellar" I suggest "Stimulating."

Between "Irritating" and "Loathsome" I suggest "Painful."

Chris Dean said...

I vote for "Engaging" and "Obnoxious."

Also, I was in a Christian bookstore today with a missionary TO America FROM India whom I recently met, and we both couldn't help but notice that Whitaker House "reprints" seem to be taking over the store, particularly the cheap/clearance section.

Kind of like the Tribbles did from you-know-where, and with much the same effect.

Gummby said...

Provocative and Deplorable?

Libbie said...

Grousing is a good word for that kind of behaviour in a christian bookstore - my husband just leaves me mumbling to myself..

4 year-olds are just the munchiest. Last night I was discussing Father Christmas with mine. I told her that some people thought he flew about in a sleigh and came down the chimney to give us presents. She burst out laughing and said 'stop being silly, mama!' So there's that dilemma out of the way...

She also thinks people who don't believe there is a god are 'just a bit funny, really'. Can we all say amen to that?

mrclm said...

I would suggest craptacular. It fits in so many ways and places.

Big Chris
Because I said so blog

Father Brown said...

Just for the record...that image with the perpetually moving eyebrow is really creeping me out.

Jeremy Weaver said...

What did you say about me?

I get my own category between irritating and loathsome!? Awesome!

Jacob Hantla said...

Interesting - salutiferous - Stellar

irritating - indecorous - loathsome

-Jacob Hantla

Ray said...

father of eleven -- Well said!

centuri0n said...

Phil --

tell Jonathan I mentioned him in your blog comments.

The catagory below "irritating" but above "loathesome" would be either "dumpster", and I know that's not an adjective. The catagory above "interesting" but below "stellar" would be either "triablogue" or "recommended".

btw, I forgot to ask you: I saw a billboard in Tulsa for "GUT CHURCH". What exactly is "GUT CHURCH"?

Libbie said...

Would that be the church for people whose God is their belly?

*groan*

Josh S. said...

I think an argument could be made that greeting cards are the root of all evil. I mean, can't people even write a note these days?

Phil Johnson said...

It's Guts Church. I haven't seen the billboard, but they are prominent online. They are the sponsors of the "Tougher than Hell" Motorcycle Rally.

It's probably the harbinger of whatever is next after the Emergent-Church fad plays out.

Lee Shelton said...

Speaking of your blogroll, do you have a post explaining why certain sites are listed in their respective categories?

Just wondering.

Keep up the good work!

Jonathan Moorhead said...

For something worse than "irritating" but just short of "loathsome" I suggest:

http://free-grace.blogspot.com

I have considered giving him a "Moor Bogs" section in my world, but question giving him publicity. Oh the ethical dilemmas!

Ray said...

Actually they (Guts Church) seem to be rather pedestrian compared to some of the EC stuff that I have seen....

I don't know if they are unusual enough to carry the torch for the EC...

Let's hope not!

Chris Dean said...

Speaking of emerging churches, I made the mistake of showing to an acquaintance of mine a church website that I recently discovered - an emergent church called Scum of the Earth in Denver. Now he has an insatiable desire to create an infamous "small group" like that in our church, if not to just start his own church one day. "Christians" today have such an unfulfilled desire for love and accpetance that new forms of social and physical engagement must be invented to distract them from their poor spiritual states.

Scum even has their own offspring called "the Refuse" in Colorado Springs. Imagine calling yourself a "Scumite." Or would they be "Scummers?"

For the new categories, how about "Meritorious" and "Pitiful?"

Sharon said...

Re: Guts Church

Their Christian philosophy is summed up under the "Beliefs" tab:

"God's will for believers is to become whole and successful in all areas of life."

Ick.

Matthew Henry said...

Phil: It is morally wrong to have that man's face and eyebrow on your site. I always thought you had higher standards.......

How about using "annoyingly itchy"

Agent Tim said...

Sounds like me when I hook up with another blogger. Now, I wonder...did you talk more about your own blogs or did you talk more about other people's blogs?

Have you ever thought of a teen category? You'd be amazed how many great teen bloggers are out there. You wouldn't even know they were teens if they didn't tell you...

Tim
(agenttimonline.com)

Ray said...

Sharon -- I didn;t mention that, but heartily agree...

Kurt N. said...

Gee....I wonder what this blog might be that so deserves its own category?

Could perhaps "inebriated" be the word you're looking for? ;)

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm blushing!

Hessel-Man said...

I've been curious - how does Steve Camp feel about his blog being under the "entertaining" category? I didn't really think he was going for entertaining so much...

centuri0n said...

I just wanted to add that anyone getting creeped out by the perpetual eyebrow thing needs to seek counselling. You obviously had not had anywhere near enough Maurice Chevalier, Bugs Bunny, Mr. Spock, or Patrick McGoohan in your cultural diet.

... bloody Americans ...

Carla said...

I'm still shaking my head at the idea of 11 kids (re: Father of Eleven).

Did anyone even comment on anything Phil had to say?

*walks away half-impressed, half-stunned at the idea of 11 kids...

Doug said...

I just subscribed to the GraceLife podcast, and when the list of messages came up, there was a whole bunch from the year 2036!!! Is this another example of modern-day prophecy?

Ray said...

carla,

Did Phil have anything to say?

(Just kidding, Phil!)

:-)

marc said...

Phil,

I do feel exceptional today. Thank You.

Matthew Henry said...

Centuri0n says: "I just wanted to add that anyone getting creeped out by the perpetual eyebrow thing needs to seek counselling."

I stand ashamed and fully rebuked by the sound words of Centuri0n. May I walk in greater humility until I learn how to make a graphic of my face have my eye wink or my ears wiggle.

But....on a lighter note, if Centuri0n ever comes to the Milwaukee/Chicago area, I need to have lunch too!

Daniel said...

Father Brown said: "Just for the record...that image with the perpetually moving eyebrow is really creeping me out."

In researching his character for the movie King Kong, I think Jack Black tried to emulate Cent - but that is just my theory...

Frank denies it of course.

Frank Martens said...

I'd like to add that any discussion about homeschool moms, I'm so with ya on that!

Considering I used to be the son of one. Meaning I was homeschooled at some point in my life. I could talk for hours about it and my frustrations :)

Libbie said...

Well, how about that, then? In the same category as Carla? Good company.. cheers Phil.

My husband: What's convivial? Does it mean 'blogs instead of ironing'?

jared said...

I was going to suggest "Effeminate" for your new BHT category, but I see you've chosen "Disturbing." Eh. Could go either way.

What's a group blog gotta do to merit an "Exceptionally Entertaining" category?

ScottyB said...

I've decided to become a homeschool mom.

Broken Messenger said...

Ahhh...

If only I could be thought of as worthy enough to make the "Irritating" or "Worrisome" categories of your blog roll Phil. Haven't I earned at least one of these distinction in your blog roll?

Brad

Phil Johnson said...

Note to all:

I'm not finished with the blogroll yet. I'll probably finish it up this weekend. Don't nobody panic yet.

Steve said...

Well, those of you who end up getting mentioned in ANY of Phil's blogroll categories--even if it's the "Abomination of Desolation" category--should be grateful for your newfound fame. You're far ahead of us deprived "have nots" who don't even have blogs.

Father Brown said...

You people actually want a link to your blog to be displayed on the same page as the "perpetually moving eyebrow"?! I think there is a verse somewhere that exhorts believers not to associate with disturbing eyebrows.

Forgiven Sinner said...

Hard to Believe..........not a statement, but the name of John MacArthurs book I am halfway through. I must warn you though, if you are expecting to get all "feel good" inside like you would from a Joel Osteen book, then this one is NOT for you!!!! It hits ya where it hurts and leaves the seeker sensitive garbage on the shelf at Lifeway under the heading "40 Days of Purpose" where it should be........I say we use Rick Warrens books to heat homes and save our natural gas for the next time we have a fuel crisis.

Sled Dog said...

My wife and I caught one of the NOOMA videos with Rob Bell while at a Family Christian Store. After five minutes, the thought that came to my mind was "kicked puppy Christianity."

It's pretty hard not to make assumptions about blogroll changes...sorry

Last but not least, the OUT OF UR blog over at Christianity Today's website (I think it's found in their under Leadership) talks about Scum of the Earth church debating whether to use the f word in a Christmas service. Really.

Ray said...

sled dog -- Yep, that debate has been going on for a while (the profanity-laced poem). What I have found most interesting is that no one in the debate is concerned at all with God's Glory, and God's Honor... they are exclusively (pro and con) concerned with using a cussword in church and when and where it is appropriate...

They simply do not ask the correct questions; that is, IS GOD GLORIFIED BY THIS?

They make the argument of, "I am being real", or "Traditional Churches never let us express ourselves", or any number of other things, but never once is the actual question regarding God's glory raised.

Even many of the opponents have not raised that question... I wonder, where is God in all of this self-centered racket?

Ellen said...

On Rob Bell and the video:

My daughter was invited to visit Bell's church and it was a good lead in to a great talk.

I wish there were more resources available aimed at teens.

Rich Ryan said...

I read an article in the latest copy of Leadership magazine and it had a story about a pastor who's church grew up to 10k within a few years and he struggled with all the effects. It sounds like Mars Hill (Rob Bell).

Is this the same guy/church?

SJ Camp said...

Just returned from a ten day conference/cruise with the Founders. Dr. Tom Ascol; Dr. Fred Malone; Pastor Roy Hargrave and myself had a wonderful time of ministry, fellowship and eating way too much food. A few days before that trip began I had just returned from a two week ministry trip to New Zealand. Needless to say, I'm a bit tired but good to be "exhausted" for the gospel of our Lord.

Saw my name listed and wanted to briefly comment:

1. Phil is my friend and I respect him greatly - however he wants to classify me is fine.

2. I am humbled to be mentioned at Pyromaniac; and contributing theologically and biblically to the blogosphere at CampOnThis each day.

3. I spend many many hours each week pouring over the text of God's Word exegetically, theologically and biblically with the one hope to encourage others to think Scripturally on issues about culture, art, church, etc.

Phil has always challenged me in my thinking and is necessary in my life for the precise reason that we always don't agree on every issue. I have a deep appreciation for my brother because out of the iron striking the iron the friendship remains genuine, my love for the Lord matures, and the ministry grows.

May the Lord continue to honor Phil in all that he is doing for the kingdom. I am happy we are co-laborers in Christ for His glory and the furtherance of His gospel.

Grace and peace,
Campi
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Ellen said...

Rich, yes, it's the same guy.

I'm trying to get my daughter to think critically (as in critical thinking, not being critical) about theology.

At nearly 17, it's not working very well.